NAHB’s semi-annual Construction Forecast Conference is just a month away.  Details are:

  • Wednesday, October 2, 2013
  • 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
  • View webinar for $29.95 at your own office by clicking here or
  • Watch it free at the HBA Office by clicking here

 The conference will feature presentations by NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, Moody Analytic’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi, and NAHB Forecasting Economist Robert Denk.  If you join us at the HBA Office you will have the opportunity to enjoy beer and wings with your fellow members.  There is no charge for HBA members.  Nonmembers will be charged $25.

Below is a sampling of Dr. Crowe’s recent projections:

For the Greenville MSA, housing starts history and projects:

(000s)          2012          2013          2014
Total            2.4             2.9             3.4
SF                2.2             2.7             3.2
MF               0.2             0.2             0.2

Dr. Crowe will update his projections for the conference on October 2.

In addition, Dr. Crowe provided the following analysis at the NAHB Legislative Conference in June in Washington DC:

  • Since the fourth quarter of 2011, housing has led the economic recovery and Crowe notes that housing really needs other sectors of the economy to begin recovering in order for a full recovery to take hold.
  • For the last two quarters housing employment is growing faster than other industry sectors.
  • Multi-family and remodeler confidence now exceeds 50, but single family remains below 50 and suffers from momentum issues caused by credit, labor, and land availability. (Note that SF confidence is now at 58.)
  • Remodeling activity is being held back by slow resales. Resales have slowed because of lack of inventory, which has helped put upward pressure on new home starts. However, remodeling is closely tied to resales, so remodeling is going to continue to experience slow growth, but growth none-the-less.
  • Since the downturn, renters have outpaced owners in terms of household formation. In fact many households have converted from owning to renting. However, Crowe did state that the industry is getting close to answering pent up demand for multifamily. He suggested that current levels of construction will answer demand for multifamily and much more growth in volume will result in over building.
  • Single family still lags behind and is below 50 percent of normal, nationally. He stated that headwinds (credit, land, and labor availability) plus damage to the industry from the recession (lack of a supply chain, labor) will continue to hold single family back for a while. In addition, buyers are still measured in their desire to jump back into homeownership or a move up.
  • Check the slide on Buyer Credit Squeeze. Anyone who tells you that credit standards have not increased is not looking at the data.
  • Crowe stated that labor availability seems to be a bigger problem for production builders than other builders and remodelers.
  • Materials prices have returned to pre-recession levels.

And while you are thinking about economics, mark you calendar for November 5 when Dr. Joseph Von Nessen of the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business will present the Upstate Housing Market Forecast.